Sunday, November 17, 2013

F-U-N to the MAXIEmum level

The award-winning film by Auraeus Solito based on Michiko Yamamoto's screenplay about an effeminate boy who fell for his policeman friend, has blossomed into a full-blown musical. At a time when news feeds are dominated by sad reports about super typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath, the gifted actors of "Maxie, the Musicale" headlined by Jayvhot Galang, has brought the much needed laughter and amusement onstage.

Jayvhot, first wowed the public with his vocal stylings in gameshows and talent contests on TV. Though a theater neophyte, he armed himself with this same jaw-dropping vocal affectations and natural gift of dance that impressed his cast mates and even the production staff.

Dexter M. Santos, the show's director and choreographer said that "the challenge in having a beginner for the role of Maxie is the instilling of the discipline of theater and coming to terms with the performance techniques he is already used to." Nevertheless, Santos, is happy with the rawness of Jayvhot's approach that made the character real and sincere.

In a backstage interview with Honorata Manila, the 15-year old actor is also quite overjoyed for being entrusted this responsibility which made him prepare by reading the script countless times, watching the film to learn more about the character, and by going to mentoring sessions with the director and workshops under PETA.

The result of this training is something that audiences should watch out for to prove whether his whole Maxie experience really taught him about the importance of discipline and hardwork.

We were privileged to get a private sampling of his birit powers. Being a fan of Regine Velasquez and Beyonce, belting the songs written by Nicolas B. Pichay, William Elvin Manzano, JJ Pimpinio, and Janine Santos, comes out naturally but this belter also believes in singing from the heart and understanding what you are singing about. He, however, needs to strengthen his falsetto with the very delicate notes and lyrics for the scene to be understood.

Charm and sex appeal

Making beautiful melodies on stage with Jayvhot is Jojo Riguerra, the very charming and sexy Sampaloc policeman, Victor who arrests not just the maladies of society but also the young heart of Maxie.

Jojo is an architect by profession but also works as a model and actor. He let us in his dressing room where he stripped off his uniform to reveal five important things  for his role and yes, we got to see his big gun too.

When we asked him what he would do if a boy fell for him in real life, he said he would rather be a big brother to him and give advise and words of wisdom.

Natural Chemistry

Jayvhot and Jojo's blend of talent, innocence and good looks unquestionably result to good chemistry in the show. The audience can see and feel a good balance of admiration and respect from both Maxie and Victor, seeing how comfortable they are with each other on and off stage.

We decided to put this chemistry to the test and challenged the two to a stare-off. One is to keep a haughty face while the other attempts to elicit a smile from him without uttering a word. The result is a priceless kilig moment.

The stage version of the show by Nicolas B. Pichay, written for mature audience is a lot of fun to watch. From the lively song & dance numbers, the funny lines, to the flamboyant scenes, you are sure to have one helluva good time in the theatre. The show's director says that "if there is one thing that the show wants to teach the audience, I guess it is knowing that hope, happiness and love will ultimately come from one's self." and that is a really nice bonus for the audience.

Maxie the Musical is presented by Bit by Bit Company in cooperation with PETA Theater Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It runs until December 8, 2013.

Photo Credits: VerJube Photographics

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